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Narrative Inquiry

Narrative Inquiry
A Dynamic Approach

  • Colette Daiute - City University of New York, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

October 2013 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Narrative Inquiry provides both a new theoretical orientation and a set of practical techniques that students and experienced researchers can use to conduct narrative research. Explaining the principles of what she terms “dynamic narrating,” author Colette Daiute provides an approach to narrative inquiry that builds on practices of daily life where we use storytelling to connect with other people, deal with social structures, make sense of surrounding events, and craft our own way of fitting in with various contexts. Throughout the book, Daiute illustrates and applies narrative inquiry with a wide variety of examples, practical activities, charts, suggestions for interpreting analyses, and tips on writing up results. Narrative Inquiry integrates cultural-historical activity, discourse theories (including critical discourse theory and conversation analysis), and interdisciplinary research on narrative as applied to a range of research projects in different cultural settings.  


Chapter 1: The Appeal of Narrative in Research
Chapter 2: Designing Dynamic Narrative Research
Chapter 3: Values Analysis
Chapter 4: Plot Analysis
Chapter 5: Significance Analysis
Chapter 6: Character Mapping and Time Analysis
Chapter 7: Outcomes of Narrative Inquiry

This book offers the reader layered explanations of the processes and techniques involved in narrative inquiry with a new level of specificity that does not reduce the data analysis process to a formulaic activity, but rather provides the essential scaffolding needed to advance a more sophisticated analysis. It is well-organized conceptually, clearly written, and accessible.

Thalia M. Mulvihill
Ball State University

Daiute brings a lot of clarity to what has been a “fuzzy” field of inquiry. The many examples from her personal research connect the strategies she offers to actual studies. I recommend this text to other scholars working in narrative inquiry for their classes and/or guidance of their own research.

Mary Louise Gomez
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Recommended for doctoral students

Ellen Cohn
June 5, 2015
Key features

  • Applies narrative theory and research to research design and analysis
  • Applies narrative analysis to other discourses elicited in research, such as interviews, conversations, policy documents
  • Takes the mystery out of analyses of narratives and other research discourses
  • Practical designs and numerous strategies work to guide beginning and experienced researchers in conducting dynamic narrative inquiry.
  • Practical advice helps readers translate analyses to outcomes and research reports.
  • Theory-based narrative analysis tools, including values analysis, plot analysis, script analysis, significance analysis, character mapping, meaning in time analysis, analyses of metaphorical meaning, and analyses of genre-meaning interaction, are explored.
  • Descriptive charts are included to guide each analytic strategy.
  • In-text learning tools include examples, activities, and a glossary of narrative inquiry terms.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

For instructors

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